These are mainly quotes from the 2 founders, with some extra bits which are mainly at the end.
Larry Page: “Artificial intelligence would be the ultimate version of Google. So we have the ultimate search engine that would understand everything on the Web. It would understand exactly what you wanted, and it would give you the right thing. That’s obviously artificial intelligence, to be able to answer any question, basically, because almost everything is on the Web, right? We’re nowhere near doing that now. However, we can get incrementally closer to that, and that is basically what we work on. And that’s tremendously interesting from an intellectual standpoint. ” (October 28, 2000)
“The Big Switch”, Page 212:
During a question-and-answer session after a presentation at his alma matter, Stanford University, in May 2002, Page said that Google would fulfill its mission only when its search engine was “AI-complete”. “You guys know what that means? That’s artificial intelligence”.(May 2002)
LARRY PAGE: And, actually, the ultimate search engine, which would understand, you know, exactly what you wanted when you typed in a query, and it would give you the exact right thing back, in computer science we call that artificial intelligence. That means it would be smart, and we’re a long ways from having smart computers.
SPENCER MICHELS: Sergay Brin thinks the ultimate search engine would be something like the computer named Hal in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.
SERGEY BRIN: Hal could… had a lot of information, could piece it together, could rationalize it. Now, hopefully, it would never… it would never have a bug like Hal did where he killed the occupants of the space ship. But that’s what we’re striving for, and I think we’ve made it a part of the way there. (November 29, 2002)
“Doing a good job doing search is basically artificial intelligence, we want it to be smart.” (July 22, 2003)
BRIN: The solution isn’t to limit the information you receive. Ultimately you want to have the entire world’s knowledge connected directly to your mind.
PLAYBOY: Is that what we have to look forward to?
BRIN: Well, maybe. I hope so. At least a version of that. We probably won’t be looking up everything on a computer.
PLAYBOY: How will we use Google in the future?
BRIN: Probably in many new ways. We’re already experimenting with some. You can call a phone number and say what you want to search for, and it will be pulled up. At this stage it’s obviously just a toy, but it helps us understand how to develop future products.
PLAYBOY: Is your goal to have the entire world’s knowledge connected directly to our minds?
BRIN: To get closer to that—as close as possible.
PLAYBOY: At some point doesn’t the volume become overwhelming?
BRIN: Your mind is tremendously efficient at weighing an enormous amount of information. We want to make smarter search engines that do a lot of the work for us. The smarter we can make the search engine, the better. Where will it lead? Who knows? But it’s credible to imagine a leap as great as that from hunting through library stacks to a Google session, when we leap from today’s search engines to having the entirety of the world’s information as just one of our thoughts.
Brin told Levy in Newsweek just before that period that he and Page were content to keep tinkering with their research-paper idea. “I think we’re pretty far along compared to 10 years ago,” he said. “At the same time, where can you go? Certainly if you had all the world’s information directly attached to your brain, or an artificial brain that was smarter than your brain, you’d be better off. Between that and today, there’s plenty of space to cover.” (2004)
Every time I talk about Google’s future with Larry Page, he argues that it will become an artificial intelligence.(January 09, 2005)
“We are not scanning all those books to be read by people,” explained one of my hosts after my talk. “We are scanning them to be read by an AI.” (October 24, 2005)
“One of our big goals in search is to make search that really understands exactly what you want, understands everything in the world. As computer scientists, we call that artificial intelligence.” (October 26, 2005)
In five years, Google will have built “the product I’ve always wanted to build–we call it ’serendipity,’” he said, adding that it will “tell me what I should be typing.”
Also coming in the future: simultaneous translation in the major languages and the ability to take a picture on a mobile phone and use OCR (optical character recognition) to find out what it’s a picture of, he added.
“We have literally just begun on the potential of this unification,” he said.
(May 10, 2006)
“People always make the assumption that we’re done with search. That’s very far from the case. We’re probably only 5 percent of the way there. We want to create the ultimate search engine that can understand anything … some people could call that artificial intelligence.” (May 23, 2006)
“The ultimate search engine would understand everything in the world. It would understand everything that you asked it and give you back the exact right thing instantly,” Mr Page told an audience of the digerati representing firms from Warner Music and AOL to BSkyB and the BBC. “You could ask ‘what should I ask Larry?’ and it would tell you.” (May 23, 2006)
“One of my favourite things is artificial intelligence but it has gotten a very bad rap…but my prediction is that when AI happens it’s going to be a lot of computation and not so much clever algorithms but just a lot of computation. My theory is that if you look at your programming, your DNA, it’s about 600 megabytes compressed, so it’s smaller than any modern operating system, smaller than Linux or Windows or anything like that, your whole operating system, that includes booting up your brain, by definition. So your program algorithms probably aren’t that complicated, it’s probably more about the overall computation, but that’s my guess.
We have some people at Google who are really trying to build artificial intelligence and to do it on a large scale and so on, and in fact, to make search better, to do the perfect job of search you could ask any query and it would give you the perfect answer and that would be artificial intelligence based on everything being on the web, which is a pretty close approximation. We’re lucky enough to be working incrementally closer to that, but again, very, very few people are working on this, and I don’t think it’s as far off as people think.” (February 24, 2007)
In 2002, Google gave us the speed and relevance that Vannevar Bush could only imagine, and page rank became the leverage of competitive intelligence. When asked what the perfect search engine would be, Sergey Brin, founder of Google, said, “It would be like the mind of God.” Human intelligence is leveraged with artificial intelligence and the concept of the “Semantic Web” is attainable. The evolution from thinker to linker is underway. (August 20, 2007)
MACHINE LEARNING SUMMIT:
Also worth noting is that in mid-May 2008 Google held a “Machine Learning Summit“, in New York, that featured international speakers: “most of the material covered at these types of events is confidential and proprietary and can’t be released.”
“WORLDS LARGEST AI LABORATORY”:
Google wants to be the best in search – no surprise here. To reach that goal, (internal company documents state) Google wants to have the world’s top AI research laboratory.
THE NASA + GOOGLE PARADIGM:
NASA and Google have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that outlines plans for cooperation on a variety of areas, including large-scale data management, massively distributed computing, bio-info-nano convergence, and encouragement of the entrepreneurial space industry. The MOU also highlights plans for Google to develop up to one million square feet within the NASA Research Park at Moffett Field.
Sergey Brin on A.I. & the NASA + Google strategic partnership:
MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. – NASA Ames Research Center and Google have signed a Space Act Agreement that formally establishes a relationship to work together on a variety of challenging technical problems ranging from large-scale data management and massively distributed computing, to human-computer interfaces.
NASA and Google intend to collaborate in a variety of areas, including incorporating agency data sets in Google Earth, focusing on user studies and cognitive modeling for human computer interaction, and science data search utilizing a variety of Google features and products.
Under the terms of the 40-year agreement, Google will lease 42.2 acres of unimproved land in NASA Research Park at Ames to construct up to 1.2 million square feet of offices and research and development (R&D) facilities in a campus-style setting. An overview of the area is available in Google Maps™ and the Google Earth™ program at http://maps.google.com/googleameslease.